The Conservation of Energy

The aim of my project is to introduce the idea of the conservation of energy to junior high school students, and to give senior high school students further understanding by demonstrating some of the concepts. Problems involving mass, velocity and height using gravitational potential energy and kinetic energy are always covered in the Physics 11 and Physics 12 curriculum so I plan to give some physical interpretation to the concepts.

The Demonstration:

My demonstration is designed to launch a ball up an aluminum track. We will then be able to see how high the ball goes in relation to how fast it was initially moving.

The height the ball reaches is measured by looking at the markings on the plexi-glass. There are two photogates that will measure the speed of the ball. One sits at the base, right next to the spring launcher, while the other is on the back. This second photogate measures the speed just as the ball finishes rounding the curve. Both photogates have two light emitting diodes that are powered by a 12V source. These shine upon two detectors hooked up to a timer. The main track is measured to be a metre long and a metre tall.

Building the project

The Overheads and Lesson Plans


Links & Contacts